David Beckham owning an MLS team in Miami? Yeah, that feels right.


A new Major League Soccer team in Miami is looking like more of a reality after David Beckham and the owner of Bolivia soccer club Bolivar, Marcelo Claure, visited stadiums and met with key political leaders on Saturday.

Beckham, whose contract with the L.A. Galaxy contained an option to create a new team for $25 million, looks poised to link up with Bolivian billionaire Claure to purchase a new MLS team. The duo toured two potential Miami-based venues for the team on Saturday.

The first stop was the 75,000 seat Sun Life stadium, home to the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. The stadium has hosted several international friendlies throughout the years and Dolphins owner Stephen Ross recently set up a soccer division.

After meeting with Ross and Dolphins chief executive Mike Dee, Beckham and Claure visited the 20,000 seat stadium at Florida International University, where Claure is a member of the board of trustees and has previously lobbied the idea of housing an MLS club.

Following the visit Beckham spoke positively about the chance of owning a club in Miami. “I think bringing an MLS team here to South Florida would be… it’s exciting,” Beckham told CBS4 News television. “I think Miami fans are very passionate about their sports and very passionate about winning and of course, it would have to be success but it’s definitely exciting.”

During their visit Beckham and Claure also met with key political figures including the mayor of Miami-Dade County, Carlos Gimenez, and Miami Dade County commissioner Jose ‘Pepe’ Diaz. Gimenez handed Beckham the keys to the city while Diaz stressed there was real backing for a team in Miami. “There is huge political support,” Diaz said. “It is not only from the county, it’s 100 percent support from the municipalities, the mayors and the commissioner, the counselors from the different cities, they are also extremely supportive.”

Beckham and Claure also met with Jose Sotolongo, the executive director of the Miami-Dade Sports Commission, who pushed equally hard for MLS to return to Miami. “We know that our community can support not only the international soccer (friendlies) that have been coming to Miami for a while now, but that it would support an MLS franchise,” Sotolongo told Reuters. “The city of Miami has a very international fan base and a very soccer savvy fan base. This is the kind of ownership group that would electrify the community and hopefully we will get good news,” he said.

Becks even took time to meet with the supporters group, “MLS Miami Bid”, which has been campaigning for a team to come to the city. “I feel really good about it, it looks really positive,” said Julio Caballero, spokesman for MLS Miami Bid. “It is pretty much down to Beckham now, I have heard he will make his decision inside 90 days,” he said. “Beckham will bring something spectacular here – not just his name, but a class organisation to Miami. Claure knows how to run a club. The two together is just what Miami needs for soccer.”

While Beckham and Claure seem quite keen on Miami the pair are said to have other locations in mind as well. Stay tuned to see where they head next.

Daniel Sturridge could return for Liverpool against Bordeaux

X during Liverpool FC training session at Melwood Training Ground on September 30, 2015 in Liverpool, England.
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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said it’s possible that Daniel Sturridge could return to the Liverpool lineup when the Reds host Bordeaux in Europa League action on Thursday.

Sturridge has made just three Premier League appearances this season due to multiple injuries, and has not played since a full 90 minutes against Everton on October 4. He is back in training, however, and was an unused substitute in the 4-1 win over Manchester City on the weekend.

“The best news at the moment is Daniel is getting closer and closer,” Klopp said in his pre-match press conference on Wednesday. “He can train seven or eight times in a row which is the longest period since I’ve been here.”

Klopp was faced with a striker injury crisis at the start of his tenure at Anfield, but the options have slowly improved. The German was first forced to use Divock Origi in his first match in charge. He employed Roberto Firmino up front against Manchester City with great results, but said in his interview with the NBC Sports crew after the match that he had to continually remind Firmino to push forward into a striker role before the Brazilian eventually scored.

Christian Benteke was also among the substitutes against City, and now it appears Sturridge could be close to a return. Klopp said he will be a game-time decision tomorrow, but it sounds like he’s unlikely to play a full 90 minutes, whether he starts or not.

“My decision you will see but it is closer and that is very good,” Klopp said.

Reports: Jack Grealish banished to U-21’s after heavy partying

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 25:  Jack Grealish of Aston Villa looks around the Etihad Stadium prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Aston Villa at Etihad Stadium on April 25, 2015 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
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Aston Villa youngster Jack Grealish has found himself in hot water with the club’s new manager, and it has him on the outside looking in.

According to reports from England, Grealish has been sent to train with the U-21’s after partying back-to-back nights following a 4-0 pummeling at Everton. Recent comments from Villa manager Remi Garde on Grealish’s on-field performances seem to suggest this has been coming for a while, and the partying was simply the last straw.

Garde called him an “unfinished player” in his press conference prior to the Everton match, saying, “Jack for me is a very gifted player with a lot of skill and quality but what I saw in the last few games he played was not the level he should have played. It is as simple as that. He needed more confidence and more structure in his game.”

Following the Everton defeat, which saw Grealish start and play 74 minutes before being removed, Grealish was pictured partying in Manchester, where he was seen inhaling nitrous oxide from balloons with his friends, the same act that got youngsters Raheem Sterling and Saido Berahino in trouble with their clubs in the past year.

The 20-year-old burst onto the scene last season registering some solid minutes down the stretch as Villa maintained its Premier League status. However, this season has been a rough go for Grealish, who has appeared in eight matches (nine starts) for Villa this season, all losses, and has scored just one goal. The five points earned by Aston Vill this season have all come in matches without Grealish making an appearance.

FC Twente president steps down amid investigation of transfer deals

ENSCHEDE, NETHERLANDS - NOVEMBER 8: General view of the FC Twente Stadion, home of FC Twente taken during the UEFA Europa League group stage match between FC Twente and Levante UD held on November 8, 2012 at the FC Twente Stadion in Enschede, Netherlands. (Photo by Anoek de Groot/EuroFootball/Getty Images)
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Aldo Van der Laan, the President of Dutch club FC Twente, has stepped down after allegations of shady transfer dealings have surfaced.

This week, a website posted a contract dated 2014 between Van der Laan and Malta-based Doyen Sports Investments that saw a payment of $5.3 million from the company to the club in exchange for between 10 and 50 percent of the transfer rights to seven Twente players.

In a statement on its official website, the club said “Van der Laan has stated that the club is always of paramount importance to him, and that is now in jeopardy. Continuing doubt about him harms FC Twente.” The statement went on to say the Dutch federation (KNVB) is investigating, and that the club will cooperate.

FIFA outlawed third-party ownership of players to keep outside forces from influencing transfer deals. The alleged contract posted is dated before the FIFA ruling went into effect, but the KNVB has outlawed third-party ownership for a while.

According to Dutch reports, five of the seven players listed on the contract have already been sold, including current Southampton midfielder Dusan Tadic. The contract states that the two remaining players, Shadrach Eghan (with the first team) and Kyle Ebecilio (on loan at Championship club Nottingham Forest) must be sold by the end of the season, or the club must pay a $1.48 million fine to Doyen.

Those same reports also suggest Twente is likely to see some form of sanction, with some serious possibilities including relegation, a large points deduction, or a transfer ban as long as two years.

UEFA orders Dynamo Kiev to close stadium doors for racist incidents

KIEV, UKRAINE - SEPTEMBER 19:  FC Dynamo Kyiv supporters during the UEFA Europa League group stage match between FC Dynamo Kyiv and KRC Genk held on September 19, 2013 at the Olympic Stadium, in Kiev, Ukraine. (Photo by Genya Savilov/EuroFootball/Getty Images)
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UEFA handed down a two-match closed door ban to Dynamo Kiev after racist incidents during a Champions League match against Chelsea, with a third match suspended for three probationary years.

Anti-discrimation body Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) brought footage to UEFA of four black fans who appeared to be harassed in the stands at the match on October 20. UEFA charged Dynamo for racist behavior, crowd disturbances, and blocked stairways.

Dynamo was also fined €100,000 for the incidents.

As a result, Dynamo will play in an empty stadium on December 9 in a group stage match against Maccabi Tel Aviv, and their second match will either be in the Champions League Round of 16, or in the Europa League Round of 32 should they finish third in their group, which seems more likely.

Last season, Dynamo was punished by UEFA for racist behavior at Europa League matches, ordered to close part of their stadium on two separate occasions.